Brunch is lame, you're not that old and you're certainly not a real DJ!
Millennials haven't been on this Earth for that long, relatively speaking, so it's understandable that they're still figuring out some things -- like how to take photographs that aren't selfies, or that the old 90s shows on Nickelodeon ended for a reason. But as we move into 2014 and start thinking about which resolutions we're going to stick with this year, how about focusing on making sure you retire a few of these things that have overstayed their welcome.
This will be controversial to say, but brunch -- at least in the way that millennials are known to enjoy it -- is a terrible idea, and it's baffling that it has existed for so long. You have to wake up early and start drinking in the morning. It burns you out and makes you sleepy -- or drunk -- for the rest of the day. Brunch would be perfect if the whole tradition, pancakes, mimosas, crepes and all, was moved to 4 p.m. It makes absolutely no sense that large swaths of the millennial generation are losing big chunks of their weekend to this brunch thing, when they could being doing countless other activities -- or even just catching up on sleep -- instead.
The year of the selfie was 2013, which means 2014 should be the year the selfie dies. Human subjects make images more powerful, but a selfie is cheating, as you usually don't really look that interesting in your own photo. Instead, we could be on the lookout for other people in the world that could make your photographs stand out. The popularity of selfies in 2013 reminds of the early years of YouTube, when people would just upload videos of themselves lip-syncing because people didn't know how to do things any better yet. You have an amazing camera in your pocket at all times, use it more wisely.
The Disney corporation has gotten a free pass for far too long, and 2014 is the year their fairytale should end. For some reason, the childlike wonder of Disney makes us forget that some of it is literally made by sweatshop children wondering when their next meal will be. Also, did you know Disney Executives discussed how sexually attractive the Little Mermaid was? And really, the whole world doesn't need to be framed in the context of Disney Princesses. Disney continued its domination of your heart in 2013 by buying the rights for "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones," and truly stopping the love for their films will be impossible. Just remember Disney magic was created by ad men like Don Draper and not wizards like Merlin.
Although it's hard to do so while drunk, stepping out of the moment and really thinking about how ridiculous karaoke is can be a pretty sobering thought. In the middle of a bar or party, you're forcing everyone to hear you sing, usually in a jokey sort of ironic way that only you and your friends are even enjoying. Pop star simulations should be left to music videos you can make at mall kiosks, or while in the shower.
5. Being "so old"
You're not that old.
6. Reality TV shows like "Duck Dynasty" and "Buckwild"
Much has been said about exploitative reality shows like "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," but of course calling shows like this exploitative implies the subjects of these shows don't have the intelligence to consent or the free will to act however they please, so that's not necessarily why these shows are inherently bad. What's wrong is when the shows and their producers encourage the subjects to continue dangerous lifestyles for our amusement ("Buckwild" was cancelled after star Shain Gandee died while off-roading on an ATV) or gives their subjects a pulpit and power they probably shouldn't be given ("The Duck Dynasty" controversy).
The Internet may finally be falling out of love with cats. Fur right meow, it is unclear whether millennials are already beating a dead cat horse, or if they've jumped the cat shark just yet, but the end of the cat reign seems to be nigh.
It's not even possible, so stop it. Maybe you're OK at doing many things in a small time frame, but there's probably a more effective way. Even better, instead of multi-tasking just get more sleep. Don't burn out, millennials!
Allow yourself to be freed from the "fear of missing out." You can't see everything, you can't do everything, and you can't be everywhere, yet somehow you'll be alright. You should be able to breathe easy. Sometimes staying at home on Netflix and not hanging out with friends is a perfectly fine way to spend a night.
Although maligned for years, DJs are still everywhere. Even though some millennial DJs have had to sell their equipment to pay for rent or babies, there doesn't seem to be an end in sight. In a digital age when venues can just turn on a playlist, the "art of curation" could be done by a bartender with a crossfade app and a Spotify subscription. It's rare that a DJ actually has music production skills or puts on some sort of "performance," or that the venue is intimate enough that they can actually "feel the temperature" of the room and choose songs accordingly. For this reason, the vast majority of DJs are dumb. Paris Hilton is one of the top five DJs in the world (at least according to her), so there's that too.
This term, which once stood for "independent" and was applied to something "underground" in nature, is now useless, from films to music. Maybe indie games still are in at the moment, but the term really should just be retired.
13. The Illuminati
Although a world where Jay Z and Beyoncé are the head of The Illuminati and Blue Ivy Carter is the heir to the throne is a pretty appealing dream, millennials should just give it a rest with all the conspiracies. If you stare at the eye above the tower long enough it isn't going to wink at you.
Superheroes aren't supposed to be everywhere, because then they become less super. When we have half a dozen films every year, with most featuring more than one superhero, they kinda just become normal heroes. Superman? More like Man. Iron Man? Also just Man. Wonder Woman? More like ... wait, this movie didn't even get made despite news of lesser superheroes like Ant Man getting their own movies. Superhero films also have a gender problem.
15. Taking Frisbees too seriously
Frisbees = fun. Bros taking it way too seriously = not fun. If you've never watched an Ultimate Frisbee match, you've probably incorrectly assumed that they're fairly chill affairs, which isn't the case at all. Matches are characterized by rigid plays that seem solely to exist for players to prove to spectators that this is a "legitimate sport." Nowhere else in the world can you see a drunk (or at least hungover) bro care so much about whether a teammate has kept in the "stack" or whether the "weave" was executed with perfect cuts.
Being the next Mark Zuckerberg or the next Snapchat ghost is basically the peak of the American dream for millennials. A whole media enterprise has been launched solely to criticize the people fueling this startup world. Ignoring the potential tech bubble, mostly it's just annoying that Silicon Valley seems to think of themselves as America's most successful punk scene, with their use of words like "disrupt" to talk about plans to oust contemporary industries with supposedly forward-thinking technological innovations.
17. Harry Potter
Millennials still can't seem to get enough of the wizard boy who lived. There's nothing wrong with Harry Potter, except it seems like it's time to move on from Hogwarts and remind ourselves that, despite our deepest wishes, we can't stay in school forever.
18. Grammar Nazis
Maybe 2014 will finally be the year of the Grammar Nazi's demise. Instead of obsessing over Merriam and Webster, perhaps Grammar Nazis will move on to a role model like Alien, a character from the 2013 film "Spring Breakers," who taught us that there isn't just one way to speak, and that American English is wonderfully diverse. "This is the fuckin' American dream. This is my fuckin' dream, y'all! All this sheeyit! Look at my sheeyit!" he wisely spoke. America the beautiful.
19. Nick Nostalgia
The nostalgia party is over. It's been decades since these shows were on the air, which makes them interesting to remember for a moment, but not over a whole block of "Nick at Nite." Zach Morris? More like Zach BOREis, amirite?
20. Energy drinks
Red Bull is a very "cool" entity, from their Music Academy to their magazine to sponsoring someone's skydive from space to etc., etc. But despite the awesome things that surround the brand, the actual liquid in the can just isn't that good for you, and is leading to increased hospital visits. Other energy drink competitors are also making questionable moves to keep you drinking until we become an Idiocracy nation.
21. Contemporary "folk pop"
Mumford & Sons may have finally announced an indefinite hiatus this year, but that only left room for countless other musicians to try to take over the folk pop reins of melodic terror. There isn't anything inherently wrong with "folk" or even "folk pop." But for some reason the genre seems to come with a sense of pretension, like it's better than other pop artists and is somehow more "real," because they play acoustic guitars, bang on expensive trashcans and sing about sad things (in between yelling "hey" or other monosyllabic exclamations). Meanwhile, the bands seem to have sold out to any and every ad or movie trailer that has come asking.
Somehow the vampires and zombie genres are still going on as if they -- and not just the fictional characters behind them -- are actually immortal. We don't need more vampire and zombie books, television shows or movies in 2014, even if the writer promises it's somehow a "fresh take." It's likely not, and the writer or producer is just looking for fresh blood, brains and money, so maybe it's time to ignore it.
23. Hannah Horvath-ing
Hannah Horvath is the main character in the millennial defining HBO show "Girls." Although it's a good show, it's now hard to say whether Horvath emulates millennials or if millennials have started emulating her, and the generational traits of both seem to keep bouncing off each other and getting more and more exaggerated. Although there probably aren't too many millennials asking themselves, "What would Hannah Horvath do?" there are probably plenty who have excused an action or life choice because she did it on the show. Hannah Horvath-ing is what you do when you don't want to take personal responsibility for an action, either because your parents and society were enablers, or because other cultural forces seem to encourage it.
24. Hating Lindsay Lohan, Kanye West and other celebrities
You can hate the idea of "Kanye West," or you can hate his music or his contributions to society, but it's important to recognize that you don't and probably never will know "Kanye West" the actual person. We should all realize that there are humans behind these celebrity personas, and that their lives are probably more complex than we're willing to admit.
All photos from Getty unless linked in. Click-through otherwise.
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